In a surprise twist in this winter’s ongoing free agency, the Oakland A’s have apparently outbid the Los Angeles Dodgers for the services of a free agent. Reliever Ryan Madson has agreed to a 3-year, $22 million deal with the A’s after both Oakland and the Dodgers were rumored to be angling to sign him.
Madson was one of the most unlikely comeback stories of the 2015 baseball season. After having last pitched in the Major Leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies way back in 2011, Madson joined the Kansas City Royals on a one-year deal with $850,000. Madson immediately became a regular contributor to the Royals’ outstanding bullpen, putting together 63.1 regular-season innings with a 2.13 ERA. Although Madson struggled in the Royals’ victories in both the ALDS and ALCS, he rebounded to pitch three scoreless innings in the World Series over the New York Mets. Kansas City’s World Series victory was the second of Madson’s career, as he was a member of the champion 2008 Philadelphia Phillies team.
This signing represents the latest attempt by the A’s to sign “reclaimed” veterans to their squad. Oakland has featured Bartolo Colon and Scott Kazmir in their rotation in recent seasons, and traded Kazmir to the Houston Astros this past July for a significant prospect haul. This November, Oakland also invested one year and $6 million towards Rich Hill, a journeyman starting pitcher who only started four games — albeit four outstanding games — for the Boston Red Sox in 2015.